One last thing about Christmas at our church:
We had to build a little town of Bethlehem.
Plans for a full-scale Bethlehem mockup
That’s right. The senior staff decided to build a Styrofoam replica of Bethlehem in the middle of our church lobby. It wasn’t just meant to be an exercise in nativities. Besides just looking cool– and tying into our “Bethlehem Effect” holiday logo– it was also meant to be a display for our holiday giving campaign, which we cleverly dubbed “Cause An Effect.”
“Cause An Effect” was designed to offer multiple giving opportunities. That way, our congregants could decide for themselves which project they felt most strongly about and then contribute accordingly. Our three options included:
-Funding the building of school facilities for orphans in Zambia
-Buying nursery and program supplies for an inner-city Houston church
-And providing the homeless and impoverished in our community opportunities to stay in a shelter and get a good meal.
The first option, Aid to Zambia, came with a logo all ready to go. That’s because a group of folks from our church had already been working to raise money for the orphans since the fall, doing fundraising and hosting a charity golf tourney. We were excited to bring even more attention to an already worthy cause.
(Logo provided pro bono by adWhite, an advertising and graphics agency in The Woodlands)
After we adopted their program as one of our holiday giving priorities, we decided to design the other two options so that they’d match the A to Z logo.
Thus, for our partnership with the inner-city Houston church, dubbed “Hope for Houston,” we created this image by using a rights-free picture of the Houston skyline, plus some Illustrator trickery:
“Hope for the Homeless” was a little trickier. I kept trying to draw pictures of guys wearing ratty beanies with nappy beards looking pitiful. That was a little overt. Then, I had a revelation. I grabbed the camera phone:
And BAM: hands outstretched, looking like a heart. That quickly became this logo:
And we had our three options designed and ready to go. All that was left was to tie it back into our “Bethlehem Effect” theme. I did that by designing a parent logo from the “Bethlehem Effect” fonts, adding three multi-colored ripples at the suggestion of my friend, David (to show the ripple effect of being generous).
Now we needed to create a set of banners for the program that would hang behind our scale mockup of Bethlehem, acting as the “sky” part of the setup.
After sending the banners off to be ordered, we got our Styrofoam and some electrically heated knives, carved and painted our town, printed up our brochures, and the little display of Bethlehem was born:
And here’s a closer view:
This is the beauty of the job. You start with a logo idea; you end up with a giving campaign housed in an artificial foam city. I love the journey of creativity that my staff is willing to take. Small starts definitely lead to big effects around here.